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Christof Teuscher places 2nd

At 05:25 today Christof Teuscher from the USA crossed the Dawson City finish line to place 2nd in our 430 mile race. It was a hard last day for him. Due to fresh snow he had his snowshoes on pretty much all the time and he had to de-ice is pulk sled a couple of times after going through overflow. So, he was tired but also all smiles and apart from a couple of sore toe nails he had no major issues. Congratulations!

Now we are waiting for Laura Trentani from Italy. Laura already finished our 300 mile distance in a previous year and is now back to also see Dawson City. She is tired but keeps pushing on. I am told she has been dreaming of having a Coke for a long time. Not much longer now.

At that back, Gillian Smith (CAN), Jessie Thomson-Gladish (CAN) and a bit later also Scott Donatelli (CAN) have left Scroggie Creek. They and also all athletes in between are doing fine. The trails are soft due to yesterday’s snow and there is considerable elevation to get over. However, the finish line is now getting closer with every step and they should all make it before the 13 day cut-off.

Thierry Corbarieu wins 430 mile race

Today at 17:18 local time Thierry Corbarieu from France crossed the finish line in Dawson City, thus placing first in our 430 mile race. Thierry was moving very fast and impressed us all with his great strategy and capability to stick to his plan. He managed to handle all challenges equally well – the cold, rough trails, fresh snow – nothing slowed him down. Congratulations!

Already yesterday Ahmad Fathi Junaidi from Brunei Darussalam finished 3rd in our 300 mile race.  Ahmad did extremely well, especially considering he is from such a warm country. However, he did get a bit of frostbite on the tip of one of his thumbs on the very last leg of the race. Luckily it was not very bad and after a quick visit to see a doctor he got the okay to travel back home today as he had planned.

We closed the Pelly Farm checkpoint and now have crew in Scroggie Creek, Indian River and Dawson City. All athletes still in the 430 mile race are doing fine.

Next in Dawson City should be Christof Teuscher from the USA.

Gareth Hardcastle places second in 300 mile race

At 01:35 tonight Gareth (UK) arrived at the Pelly Crossing finish line. This means it took him 183 hours and 5 minutes to get her. He ranks 1st man and 2nd overall. Gareth has had a great race, always saying how much he loved it out there on the trail. Right now he is resting and he will drive back to Whitehorse with his sister tomorrow.

Marianne Heading on her way to win the 300 mile race

After a short rest at Pelly Farm 300 mile athlete Marianne Heading (UK) is on her way back to Pelly Crossing. Gareth Hardcastle (UK) and Ahmad Fathi Junaidi (Brunei Darussalam) are quite a long way behind. So, if all goes well for Marianne on those last miles she will be 1st female and 1st overall.

Thierry Corbarieu (France) is still the leader of our 430 mile race. He received a credit of 4 hours and 56 minutes for the time he was held at Pelly Farm. The Scroggie Crew is looking forward to welcome him soon. Next up is Christof Teuscher (USA) and currently in 3rd place is Laura Trentani (Italy).

Unfortunately, MYAU hero Enrico (the locomotive) Ghidoni this time could not go beyond Pelly Farm. He had trouble with his achilles and yesterday his stomach gave him problems, too. He is now resting and will soon come with crew back to Pelly Crossing.

All other 430 mile athletes are doing great to excellent. It’s really amazing to see the fun they are having even, regardless of the cold, the long hours and the little pains they all are feeling.

Stewart Stirling and Anja have left to set up Indian River checkpoint further north, to be ready for Thierry. Josh and Gary will help with camp set-up and then be on stand-by. Glenn and Spencer are pulling stakes in the south and can help at this end of the trail if need be. Our film crew and photographers are out their and continue with their efforts to let everyone back home be part of the adventure.

All other crew members are divided up between Pelly Farm and Pelly Crossing. Tomorrow we will also set up our finish line in Dawson. Although it will still be a while before our first athletes get there.

From Carmacks to Pelly

With Michael Faergegaard (Denmark) and Shelley Gellatly (Canada) two more 430 mile participants are not in the race anymore. Michael had a sore knee and Shelley was starting to develop frostbite on some of her fingertips. That means for our race to Dawson City we are now down to 14 athletes (from 40 who started). In the 300 mile race we have got 3 athletes remaining.

Front runner in the 430 miles is still Thierry Corbarieu from France. He was held for a few more than the normal 8 hours at Pelly Farm to make sure the crew can get ahead of him. Once I know the exact additional time he stayed, he will get that credited. Next in line is Christof Teuscher (USA) who is still looking very strong, too. Since Enrico is unranked (due to switching from xc-ski to running), Laura Trentani from Italy is currently our number three.

In the 300 mile race Marianne Heading (UK) is in front of Gareth Hardcastle (UK) and Ahamad Fathi Junaidi (Brunei Darussalam). With a bit of luck we will be able to welcome them all before Feb. 11th at the finish line in Pelly Crossing.

 

 

 

 

Super tough trail coming into Carmacks

I kind of always start by saying that it was an exciting day. Guess what, today was pretty exciting, too. I thought with a bit of luck most people who made it through the first couple of days will stay in the race. However, already during the night we got a help message from Henrik Benzon not too far north of Ken Lake. First thing in the morning Bernard checked on him and it turned out that he just could not keep any food down. A bit later on we were told that Gerald Zechner and Joel Rennie needed to be brought out of Ken Lake. No problem with cold injuries but muscular skeletal pain. Gerald also had gone through a bit of overflow. On the way to bring those two out, the team encountered Ryan Shaw who had pushed his limit a bit too far and had to withdraw due to exhaustion. Once these guys were all in and we thought, no more for today, Joe Bishop came back from the trail with Luc Atgé who was tired and fighting with a bronchitis.

Markus Kolly who had gone to sleep only about 6 miles before the checkpoint was not sure about his fingers. It looks like frostbite he sustained in a previous year is causing him to really feel the cold more now – which is normal. He took a long rest but has made up his mind that he prefers not to risk anything. He will not continue.

This means in our 300 mile race we are now down to 3 competitors and 16 remain for the 430 miles.

Marianne Heading from England is currently leading the 300 mile distance. She is an MYAU veteran and even though she said that today was extremely tough – due to lack of snow on the trail to Carmacks – she is doing really well. Behind her is British runner Gareth Hardcastle. Just like Marianne, he looks very strong and is handling the conditions well. Last but not least, we have Ahmad Faithi Junaidi from Brunei Darussalam. Now, I do not know the average temperature in Brunei but I am pretty sure that it’s kind of a “warm” country. Considering that, it’s incredible just how comfortable he looks out there. He has got his layer management really dialled in. I have hardly seen him with ice on the outside of his clothing which is always a very good sign.

In the 430 mile race the current leader is Thierry Corbarieu from France. Well, actually, he is more likely from another planet. He is moving super fast. Always in a good mood and enjoying the adventure. In second place is Christof Teuscher from the USA. MYAU legend Enrico Ghidoni from Italy is in 3rd position but due to the fact that he started as a xc-skier and is now on foot, he is unranked. He opted for this because his ski set-up this time did not work for him. Besides he does not have to proof anything to anybody, having finished the 430 mile distance in previous years on foot, on bike and on xc-ski. For him this is a bit of a final chapter in his career as winter endurance athlete. Enrico turned 65 just before the race and said he would “retire” after this one. We will see … Next in line are MYAU veterans Pat Cooke-Rogers (UK) on fatbike and Laura Trentani (IT) on foot.

I have also seen all other 430 milers in Carmacks today. Of course they are suffering but at the same time they have kept their positive attitude and look forward to a section of trail that is way better now, heading towards McCabe Creek.

After Braeburn, Carmacks is a very important milestone. We know that a large percentage of athletes who manage to get here before the cut-off (tonight 10:30 PM) later on will reach the finish line. Temperatures are still fairly cold but not absolutely extreme. The crew is now in Carmacks, McCabe and Pelly Crossing. Tomorrow we will close Carmacks and open Pelly Farm, a day later also Scroggie Creek.

Luc Atgé (France) and Markus Kolly (Switzerland) will get a transfer to Whitehorse tomorrow. With a bit of luck most of the other participants will catch a ride back from their respective finish lines.